717 rape incidents reported between January-May 2020 – IGP

The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, on Monday said that a total of 717 rape incidents were recorded in the country and 799 suspects have been arrested for the crimes between January and May 2020.

While addressing journalists after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Adamu said 632 of such cases have been conclusively investigated and charged to court within the period.

The IGP in the company of Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture, and Dame Pauline Tallen, Minister Women Affairs Development, also said 52 cases are still under investigation adding that the surge in rape cases and gender-based violence in Nigeria were due to the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions.

Adamu also added that the police and other security agencies and other non-governmental organisations have been collaborating to ensure that the rising cases of rape and gender-based violence are dealt with.

He called on every Nigerian to immediately report to law enforcement agencies on any case of rape or gender-based violence noting that keeping it without reporting it will give room for the perpetrators to continue to commit the offences.

”It is a very wicked offence, it is a very serious offence, it is very wicked of an individual to engage in rape or defilement,” the IGP said.

“And there are a lot of causes, some are doing it for ritual purposes, some are doing it because they are within the family and they see the victims and have the urge to go into it and do it. But such people should not be allowed to go Scot free.”‘

He assured that the government is committed to curtailing the surge, adding that the police is ready to partner with every stakeholder both at the national level and within the sub-region, specifically organizations that are involved in rape cases.

Adamu disclosed that the Nigerian Police has been working seriously with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and other civil society organizations.

“The NGOs and CSOs that have the capacity to deal with this kind of offences have been cooperating with law enforcement agencies in capacity building, management of victims of rape and similar offences and procedures for collecting evidence, towards successful prosecution”.